Day: September 29, 2019

Punishing Price: Australia’s Wind & Solar Obsession Means Power Prices Keep Rocketing


Like night follows day, adding chaotically intermittent wind and solar to your grid sends power prices into orbit. South Australians know it: they suffer the world’s highest power prices as a result of their 50% RET.

Other Australian states are heading in the same direction. Victoria’s great wind rush has already sent prices rocketing: wholesale prices jumped 19% last financial year. Part of a trend (see above) which is all set to continue.

The effect of surging power prices is economically insidious. Electricity is a critical input to a range of businesses, such that rising power prices reduce margins, squeeze profits and limit the opportunities to employ staff and otherwise re-invest in those businesses. Ultimately, profits become losses and a date with insolvency and a liquidator soon looms.

On the consumption side, households being belted by ever-rising power costs naturally reduce their spending on everything else.

Not that the…

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If this is how you propose to defend free speech, then freedom of speech is in grave danger

A communist at large

An open letter to Jan Thomas, Vice-chancellor of Massey University.

Massey University in Wellington is the venue for an event on 13 November called Feminism 2020, organised by Speak Up For Women (SU4W). The university has come under pressure from rightist forces masquerading under the banner of transgender rights to break its contract with the meeting organisers and cancel the booking. At the time of writing, the university has resisted the pressure to cancel the venue booking. However, on 27 September it released a statement which can only be read as paving the way for cancelling the meeting. This open letter was written response to that statement.

To Jan Thomas,


Massey University,


Dear Ms Thomas,

I commend Massey University’s stated commitment to free speech, and in particular, its decision to host the event Feminism 2020 in face of criticism and pressure to shut the meeting down.


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Economists and “populism”

More of a testament to the poor political judgement of leading economists. Inequality is straining the health of democracies so a billionaire is elected as president of the United States! Stop

croaking cassandra

My son is doing the Scholarship history exam this year and the topic is something like “populism in history”.  It got me interested and I’ve been reading various books and talking the issue over with my son trying to get straight in my own mind just what “populism” actually is.

It seems like one of those elusive terms where each user means something subtly different, usually –  at least when it is quasi-academic usages –  things/beliefs/actions the author themselves disagrees with, often almost viscerally.  I’m still left unclear that it means anything much different than “things/views which are popular with a significant share of the population, perhaps even a majority, but where those views cut across or defy those held by the contemporary elites of the society in question”.   Since there is no particular reason to suppose that contemporary “elite” opinion is any better or closer to being right…

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Time to dial up the rhetoric. Declaring a #ClimateEmergency has not done the trick yet to persuade voters to overcome their hip-pocket nerve

When Marxists are mugged by reality